Finding the perfect present for a friend, family member, or significant other can be stressful, but it doesn’t need to be. Skip seasonal anxiety and let offMetro be your guide. Whether you’re shopping for a weekend warrior or leisure traveler, our staff has a (sustainable!) suggestion for everyone on your list.
Stay inside: ClassBento.com is an absolute gem in the realm of experiential gifting. What tickles my fancy about this platform is its dexterity in curating an eclectic assortment of workshops and experiences, all just a click away. It’s like stepping into a treasure trove of creativity and learning, where one can indulge in pursuits as diverse as pottery, mixology, calligraphy, or even the arcane art of macaron-making. They have over over 2,500 in person and online craft and culinary workshops!
But what truly adds a sprinkle of stardust to the ClassBento charm is the personalized touch. Having dabbled in a whimsical terrarium-making workshop myself, I can attest that the experiences transcend the ordinary, transforming into cherished memories. The instructors are not just tutors but maestros in their craft, infusing every session with passion and expertise. ClassBento is not merely a platform; it’s a portal to a world where learning dances with leisure, and I, for one, am smitten by its delightful offerings.
Get outdoors: Love the water? Patagonia has a new wetsuit that is made out of natural rubber rather than petroleum, a big move in the industry. The Seavenger 3mm Odyssey Wetsuit with Sharkskin Chest would be great for winter surfing in New York. If you prefer to ride ashore, Krown Rookie’s Skateboard have more than 20 years of experience in producing excellent boards.
Stay inside: Wave catchers and environmentalists alike will enjoy Let My People Go Surfing – the updated book about running an ethical company with happy people (and of course, surfing) by Patagonia’s founder. Read and relax while sipping from Miir’s Reusable Beer Can.
Stay inside: I am obsessed with All Good Organic Coconut Oil. All Good sources their organic coconut from the most sustainable coconut farm in Bali, so it’s super pure and ultra-hydrating. It is never tested on animals and the light scent, coconut, lemongrass or lavender, comes from certified organic essential oils. Perfect to combat dry winter skin!
Get outdoors: The Anywhere Travel Guide directs you to complete specific tasks to engage with your environment, resulting in a richer adventuring experience. I’m also a fan of giving experiences. Select from classes ranging from Electronic Music Production to Watercolor and Tango at Coursehorse (use this link for $15 off) for a gift that lasts beyond the lifespan of a material object.
Stay inside: If you’re buying for a quirky giftee, the Swordfight Campfire Skewers by Uncommon Goods, crafted from salvaged steel in Salt Lake City, are a fun twist on normal marshmallow roasting sticks.
Get outdoors/stay inside: The humble water bottle in all its incarnations is a great gift for anyone of any age. Outdoorsmen or women will appreciate the portable Collapsible Water Bottle, which compresses for convenience. Contigo’s Autoseal Cortland, which includes a chamber for infusing water with fruit, is perfect for on-the-go users. Alternatively, S’Well’s range of designer water bottles are a great gift for the sustainable and stylish, and the coated or uncoated stainless steel exterior resists damage.
Get outdoors/stay inside: Nau’s Altiplano Alpaca Hat is the only hat you’ll ever need. It doesn’t pill, it’s super soft, it’s lightweight yet incredibly warm and, perhaps most importantly, it’s not cashmere, an environmentally hazardous fabric derived from cashmere goats, which overgraze in places like Mongolia and contribute to desertification. A beautiful alpaca hat is a great feel good gift on many levels. Bonus: 2% of every Nau purchase goes towards one of its Partners for Change, like Mercy Corps and Ecotrust.
Get outdoors: Brooklyn’s own off-grid tech company BioLite recently launched their Powerlight Mini, a sleek, bike light that also charges your phone. Detach the bike light from its mount and you’ll find a clipable lantern, billed to last over 50 hours with one charge.
Stay inside: Beautifully crafted and inspiringly simple, the Baron Fig Confidant Notebook is a perfect fit for notetakers, scribblers, and doodlers. The NYC-based team at Baron Fig plants a tree for every notebook purchased and have already planted over 60,000 worldwide.
Get Outdoors: Feast your eyes on ROKA’s performance aviator sunglasses, an ideal gift for the stylish runner, cyclist or triathlete on your list. These ultra lightweight titanium beauties are designed specifically for endurance athletes and won’t fall off your face, no matter how deep you push yourself into the pain cave. Who knew suffering could look (and feel) so good?
Header photo by Sirah Quyyom
Charlotte Leszinske is a writer newly arrived in NYC after a short stint in Paris (but is still a Californian at heart). When not searching for half-priced plane tickets she likes to explore bookshops and breweries in the outer boroughs.